For my Hubby and I this was our first ever Chrism Mass. We live only five minutes away from our downtown Cathedral of Saint Mary‘s, so it’s not like distance was a factor; I believe, it was a feeling that the Mass just “wasn’t for us.”
I am always so pleased with how many people come to Daily Mass, and I had no idea how many would be at this Mass but I was sure if it wasn’t Standing Room Only it would be close. The Mass started at 10:30, we barely got a seat when we arrived at 9:30, but that made it so exciting. The Cathedral hummed with anticipation.
People from the seven different Vicariot greeted each other, made “new” friends with their pew mates. The atmosphere was like a joyous family gathering.
Because we were a little early we saw the last minute preparations: Representatives of the Seven Vicariots carrying large glass jugs of amber oils to the back of the Cathedral. Beautiful jars. Heavy jars.
Than a solemn quiet came over the space and the organ began to play a beautiful piece as the deacons processed in. So many men who love the Church and wish to serve her. So many men who have families, wives, lives out of the Church who take time to be ready when they are called. It was impressive to see them come in and fill the first five pews. After they had filled their pews the smell of incense, sharp and peppery, not unpleasant, announced the procession of the priests, all smiles, proud men. They in to Come Unto Him, from Handel’s Messiah It was very emotional for me. I will have to spend some time with it to know why.
The priests and Bishops filled the Sanctuary. Filled the side pews. The Mass seemed to take on an unearthly, heavenly tone. Everyone of us there to witness the priests renewing their commitment to service, service to God, service to us, service to each other and service to themselves. To witness the blessing of the Sacred Oils used through the Sacraments.
The Mass was a true celebration of the many different ethnic groups that make up the Diocese of Lansing: The Readings were proclaimed in Spanish, Tagalog, there were priests, and congregants from Asia, India, the Pacific Rim, many nations of the world. It was heartwarming to see so many vocations: Religious, professionals, mothers/parents, teachers, consecrated persons. And Bishop Boyea made sure to acknowledge each one of the them.
For as he told us in his homily it is not just the priest who are renewing their commitment to their calling, but each of us should take the opportunity that this Mass gives to renew our own.
God bless you fellow mommy.